Your Essential OC Happy Hour Guide

Where to go for the best deals and drinks


Tustin Brewing Co.
A lengthy, cheap and varied happy hour. Head into the Rapunzel-fantasy entry, and fight for a a seat at the worn bar. Choose to drink the excellent in-house brews ($4) such as the Golden Spike light ale, which is what Budweiser wishes it could be. If none of them calls, go for a selection of other craft brews such as Russian River or the Bruery. Pair your selection with the county’s best onion rings, “armadillo eggs” (jalapeño poppers) or a plate of sausage with in-house bread. (DL) 13011 Newport Blvd., Ste. 100, Tustin, (714) 665-2337; Mon.-Wed., 3-6 p.m. & 10-11 p.m.; Thurs., 3-11 p.m.; Fri., 3-6 p.m.; Sun., 10-11 p.m.

Wildfish Seafood Grille
There are two bars at Wildfish. You want the one on the patio, where the firepit warms and the breezes cool. Listen to the bartender for suggestions: The rich and meaty lobster bisque can be split for two at no extra charge. Then sear oh-so-tender, slender slices of Wagyu beef on a blazing-hot rock. Fill up on a massive plate of fried calamari wok-tossed with carrots, scallions, cashews and a zingy, vaguely Asian sweet-and-sour sauce. Wash it all down with a perfumy $6 martini made with vodka, cranberry and peach Schnapps. (EG) 1370 Bison Ave., Newport Beach, (949) 720-9925; Tues.-Sat., 4-7 p.m.; Sun.-Mon., 4-11 p.m.

Auld Dubliner
Jason Levesque/Stuntkid
Auld Dubliner
Lazy Dog Cafe
Jason Levesque/Stuntkid
Lazy Dog Cafe

Location Info


Agora Churrascaria

1830 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614

Category: Restaurant > Brazilian

Region: Irvine

AnQi Gourmet Bistro by Crustacean

3333 S. Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Costa Mesa

Anthill Pub & Grille

4200 Campus Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Irvine

Asian Tapas

6380 Irvine Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92620

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Irvine

Auld Dubliner

2497 Park Ave.
Tustin, CA 92782

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Tustin

The Balcony Grill and Bar

2710 Alton Parkway, Ste. 215
Irvine, CA 92606

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Irvine

Bar Louie Tavern & Grill

321 W. Katella, #212
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Bluewater Grill

630 Lido Park Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: Newport Beach

Bootlegger's Brewery

130 S. Highland Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Fullerton

The Cannery

3010 Lafayette Road
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Newport Beach

Casa Inka

8610 Warner Ave.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Peruvian

Region: Fountain Valley

The Cellar

305 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Fine Dining

Region: Fullerton

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Not only do Zov Karamardian’s bistros have the most conveniently timed happy hours around, but they also have the best arrays of food. Some of the $5 offerings are twists on the standard fare, such as the “Chips & Salsa,” in which fried pita points sub for tortilla chips, and a refreshing mix of diced cucumber, jalapeño and feta replaces the pico de gallo. Others are more distinctive: The herb-and-parmesan rice fritter, a fluffy love child of a falafel and a hush puppy, will blow your mind—if the pomegranate martinis don’t cloud it first. (EG) 17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, (714) 838-8855; 3915 Portola Pkwy., Irvine, (714) 734-9687; 21123 Newport Coast Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 760-9687; Daily, 4-7 p.m.


A shortened (by four places!) version of this article appeared in print as "Intoxicating: Your essential OC Happy Hour Guide."

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